Law Enforcement

TV News “Cleans Up” Mug Shot

O.J. on Time and Newsweek covers.

O.J. on Time and Newsweek covers.

Back in 1994 when O.J. Simpson infamously made the cover of both TIME and NEWSWEEK magazines with the same mugshot, TIME was accused of racism by digitally darkening the image–some claimed to make him look sinister.

TIME was also taken to the woodshed by fellow journalists over changing the appearance of an image used in a news story.

Today, KTVB, channel 7 has altered a mug shot from the Ada County Sheriff’s website to “clean up” tattoos on the forehead of Chris Anderson, charged with child endangerment in the mauling of a child by a pit bull left in a van.

KTVB "Face job" image.

KTVB “Face job” image.

Unaltered GUARDIAN image of Anderson

Unaltered GUARDIAN image of Anderson


The digital code on the image even refers to “blur.”

Instead of the anchor solemnly warning, “this image is graphic,” as they do with dead bodies in war zones, the overprotective folks at KTVB put some make up on a tat which must not have been appropriate for “all you moms out there.”

KBOI-2 version.

KBOI-2 version.

KBOI-TV 2 also messed with the images, but instead of clearing up the suspect’s complexion, they pixelated it–leaving the impression it was a naughty tat.

Channels 6-9 version.

Channels 6-9 version.

The “On Your Side” gang at Channels 6 and 9 did the same as their competitors at KTVB, blocking out the tat above Anderson’s right brow.

Admittedly one could conclude the GUARDIAN is the only site with bad enough taste to post the image in its unaltered state.

Comments & Discussion

11 comments for “TV News “Cleans Up” Mug Shot”

  1. don’t look a lot different to me…

    EDITOR NOTE–check out the GUARDIAN image over his right eyebrow.

  2. I have seen him around town. It says “F%#*” over his left eye, and “OFF” over his right eye.

  3. At least he’s working with a world-class tattoo artist, huh? /sarcasm

    (One must assume he was under the influence of XXX when he said to the guy, “I want you to put “Fu%# Off” above my eyebrows. And while you’re at it, how about a crown on my chin? Yeah, that’s the ticket.”)

  4. ya Dave I got out a magnifying glass and could read it… I wonder what your headline would have bee if they had not blurred it and the word (F#%&) was on TV… I will bet the word (F#%&) does not appear in this post.

    EDITOR NOTE–you are correct. It did appear in the picture, but not gratuitously from you. We don’t want to see your tats either.

  5. Foothills Rider
    Jul 9, 2014, 9:45 am

    Shoogi: it’s the defendent’s RIGHT eye with the “F%#*”

    It is on OUR left when we look at the photo. Editor is correct.

  6. It doesn’t say “F- off” it says “F- Folks,” reference the gang rivalry between the Folk and People Nations (prominent Midwest gangs). The crown on his chin is a common People Nation symbol.

  7. Channel 2 is no stranger to messing with images. A year or so in Meridian they were “on scene” while the police blocked off several blocks near downtown to arrest a guy barricaded in his house. The SWAT team showed up and 2 blurred the faces of the police officers. In uniform. Interestingly another guy in the house was arrested by just waiting until he left the house to go somewhere.

  8. While they were at it, they should’ve done a bit of “OJ darkening,” to make him look a bit more sinister. (I get the feeling Mr. Anderson would appreciate any effort to make him look more sinister.)

  9. Is no one curious about the crown tattoo on his chin?
    http://www.crimelibrary.com/photogallery/prison-tattoo-field-guide.html?curPhoto=5

  10. good to know there are some resident gangsters here reading the Guardian.

    Maybe he’s trying to go clean and getting the tat’s erased, hence the faded colors…

    I always like the ‘resisting’ mugshots
    http://www.adasheriff.org/arrestsreport/details.asp?pid=100593299

  11. what a terrible world we live in where the local media outlets try to keep profane words away from little children who may be reading/watching the news…. can’t imagine too many things worse than that…..

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